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Transport Ministry to decide location of new southern land bridge by June



PHOTO: Facebook / Thailand Infrastructure

Thailand’s Transport Minister says the location of the much-discussed southern land bridge will be confirmed by June. Saksayam Chidchob says the bridge will provide a more convenient option for shipping goods between the Middle East and the Pacific region. According to a Bangkok Post report, the government is reviewing various locations in the province of Chumphon on the Gulf of Thailand, and in Ranong province on the Andaman Sea, based on their engineering, environmental and economic potential.

The land bridge project replaces the Kra Canal project, which has been dismissed on environmental grounds. It’s hoped the land bridge will provide a more convenient link between the Strait of Hormuz and the Andaman Sea, 4,000 kilometres away. Goods would be shipped to the Andaman province of Ranong, before being transported – via the land bridge – to Chumphon in the Gulf of Thailand. From there, goods can be sent to overseas markets in places like China, Japan, and South Korea.

According to Saksayam, in 2016, the Malacca Strait was used to transport 19 million barrels of crude oil a day, 16 of which were destined for those 3 countries. He says the planned land bridge has the potential to become a new shipping option for cargo travelling between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, thereby helping the economy in the southern region.

“This future transport and cargo exchange gateway will bring down transport costs by bypassing heavy traffic in the Malacca Strait. It will attract operators to use it.”

He adds that 24.7 million containers currently cross the Malacca Strait every year, which is why Singapore’s port is the largest petroleum terminal in Asia, boasting the world’s second-highest number of cargo containers.

“As such, southern Thailand has a good potential to become an intercontinental shipment and cargo exchange gateway, given its location being close to Singapore.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Buttaxe

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 11:18 am

    Better get permission from the US first. Just as they decided a Russian gas pipeline to Europe was not good for Europeans and so sanctioned European companies, they will portray this as somehow sinisterly benefiting China, and so sanction Thai companies.

  2. EdwardV

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 11:42 am

    Not saying a land bridge is a good idea, but it’s much better than a canal. With global consumption peaking back in 2019, this is a roll of the dice plan at best. Hope it works out.

  3. Randall

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 1:39 pm

    Nice map!

  4. toby andrews

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 3:14 pm

    Why do they not build a shorter route straight across the country?
    Another problem will be ships like to pick up cargo after they offload; what will there be for them to pick up in Thailand?
    Another problem is these goods in transit will be subjected to the high import tariffs, which I am sure the greedy Thais will still collect.
    Another problem is the usual corrupt Thai administration is bound to stick their sticky fingers into any enterprise, and the foreign ships will sail on after their first experience of wonderful Thailand.
    The last problem is who is going to build it for them?
    Can the Thais build it without foreign expertise and foreign investment?
    Thailand is too corrupt, unstable, and unreliable now, as they have proved over the last year.
    Investors will take their funds elsewhere.

  5. EdwardV

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    Buttaxe the land bridge theoretically would help China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea relatively equally. Since three of those four are US allies, why would the Americans have a problem? Fact is the land bridge is a minimal benefit at best to any of them, and that’s only if world wide consumption increases above 2019 levels. That’s not going to ever happen since world demographics will preclude it. However that misses the main point which is China doesn’t care about a land bridge, they wanted a canal. In addition, their desire was for strategic reasons, not economic ones. Even then it wasn’t America who had an issue, it was India. As for NORD Stream 2, yes America has a huge issue but it’s probably not the one you think. While it’s obvious to most America paying billions every year to protect Europe from Russia, while at the same time Europe becomes more dependent on the Russians doesn’t make sense. Certainly not when Russia spends all those Euros on weapons. The real problem with the pipeline in service is it removes the last impediment stopping the Russians from finishing off the Ukraine. Once that happens Russian tanks are on the door step of NATO. In what world does that make sense to Europe? Forest for the trees Buttaxe, forest for the trees.

  6. Issan John

    Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    A “landbridge”?

    Rail? Road? even pipeline?

    With un-loading, transport, and re-loading costs could it ever be profitable for anyone other than those getting a cut of the construction costs?

  7. Das

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 12:27 am

    Build it and they won’t come.

  8. Ted

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 7:26 am

    Not the first time this one comes up, and most probably not the last! As I can never [in my wildest dreams] believe that it will ever become a reality.

    For me, it’s a laughable way for more money being handed to officers bank accounts, meanwhile people is forced away from their land and life’s. Same time as nature and animals gets destroyed, not forgetting about where they will plan to put excavated earth to make the channel.

  9. Buttaxe

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Dear oh dear, I’m afraid I have neither the time nor the crayons to get you started in geopolitics. “Finishing off Ukraine” indeed LOL

    Let me put it simply for you: the worst nightmare for the US (elite) is free trade and cordial relations between Europe, Russia and China, that is Eurasia. Why? Because that ends the era of US hegemony – it’s not rocket science. Therefore all policy is to destabilise, divide and rule.

    Everything else is details.

    Further reading: Confessions of an Economic Hitman; Sorrows of Empire, War is a Racket, Manufacturing Consent… and the documentary Why We Fight.

  10. Buttaxe

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Nailed it. Singapore vs Thailand: First world vs would-be (never be) First world.

  11. Issan John

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    What “channel”, Ted? ?

  12. Neanderthal

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    The Great Silk Road Steel Belt Route – Will in future be RAIL.
    Ships are too slow and definitely will not terminate routes either side of the Kra / Thai Peninsular.
    Estimates are that by 2030 7.5 Million Containers per year will transit by rail – 20,000 Per day.
    Where are the Experts in Thailand getting their data from?
    Thailand is doomed – Lack of Leadership – Grabbing at Straws and NO Tourists….. No Airline…

  13. Mr cynic

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    This idea has been looked at so many times and the end result is always the same,it does not make any economic sense.why people continue to spend money doing feasibility studies on this white elephant of a project is beyond most people’s compression self included.

  14. mike0918

    Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 6:13 am

    EdwardV & Buttaxe:
    China does not care about the land bridge.
    He has a land bridge with pakistan for middle east
    And for the Indian Ocean he is developing the Ranghoun Kumming link.

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